The Selling Power Of Consumer-Generated Product Reviews: The Matching Effect Between Consumers’ Cognitive Needs And Persuasive Message Types


Lili Gai


This research investigated the potential matching effects between consumers’ personality traits (Need for Cognition) and type of characteristics of consumer-generated product reviews (Transformational or Informational). In particular, the study inquired whether such a matching effect would produce the following proposed effects: a) induce positive evaluations of consumer-generated reviews, b) generate positive attitude toward the reviewed products, and c) produce positive purchase intention of the reviewed product. The results of this present research showed that individuals with complex cognitive needs (high level of need for cognition) demonstrated a more positive attitude toward the reviewed product as well as a greater purchase intention when they read informational consumer generated product reviews than when they read transformational consumer-generated product reviews. On the contrary, individuals with lower cognitive needs (low level of need for cognition) showed more favorite attitudes towards transformational reviews. In addition, the hedonic/utilitarian nature of a product (product category), brand-familiarity, and gender moderated the relationship. Implications and directions for further investigation are also provided.

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August, 2014

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